Chief executive Michael Sharp said he was pleased with the outcome against a tough consumer backdrop and warm autumn weather, which hit sales of jackets and coats. He added that he was “comfortable” with analysts’ forecasts for a full-year profit of about £158 million.
The firm reported headline pre-tax profit of £128.5m for the half year, a slight dip on £129.2m a year ago, but just ahead of market predictions. It also announced it will return £20m to shareholders over the next six months. The interim dividend was held at 1p.
Espirito Santo analyst Sanjay Vidyarthi said it was a “resilient performance in volatile and difficult trading conditions”.